ASSA and Cooke Astronomy Scholarship is designed to promote astronomy study at the undergraduate level (second year and up) or, in exceptional circumstances, the postgraduate level, at any Southern African university, including those that provide astronomy courses to part-time students via distance learning.

ASSA and Cooke Astronomy Scholarship

About ASSA Scholarship

The ASSA Scholarship was created to promote astronomy education. The scholarship is available to finance astronomy undergraduate studies in the second and third years of college (and, in rare circumstances, honors) at a Southern African university.

A demonstrated interest in astronomy and strong academic credentials are requirements. Members of ASSA and past recipients of the Scholarship who have shown significant academic improvement will receive preference.

Moreover, applicants who are not currently receiving any other scholarships or financial aid will be given preference. The scholarship, which will be worth R25,000 in 2023 and is only good for one year, will help with academic costs and the price of required books.

Academic fees will be paid directly to the relevant university. The scholarship will be given out once applications and recommendations from the pertinent university department have been evaluated. It can be necessary for candidates to have their interviews at an ASSA Center close to them.

About Cooke Scholarship

The Cooke Scholarship is named for the Cooke Refractor in Port Elizabeth.

The Cooke Scholarship was established in 2018 with the goal of assisting students who wish to study astronomy at an accredited South African university. R25,000 is offered to pay for postgraduate or second-year undergraduate study.

The Astronomical Society of Southern Africa administers two scholarships:

1. The ASSA Scholarship, funded by ASSA, and

2. The Cooke Scholarship was funded by a donation from the PE People’s Observatory Society.

The scholarships are intended to encourage the study of astronomy, at the undergraduate (2nd year up) or, in exceptional cases, postgraduate level, at any Southern African university, including those which offer astronomy courses to part-time students in distance-learning mode.

Scholarship Eligibility Criteria

Criteria are a demonstrated interest in astronomy and a good academic record. Preference will be given to:

  • Previous scholarship-holders who have made good progress in their studies;
  • Applicants who are not in receipt of other scholarships or similar funding;
  • (for the ASSA Scholarship) ASSA members.

The scholarship will contribute towards academic fees and the cost of prescribed books, and is valid for one year. Payment of academic fees will be made directly to the university concerned.

Scholarship awards shall be based on an evaluation of the applications and the recommendations of the relevant university department. Applicants may be required to be interviewed at an ASSA Centre convenient to them.

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Scholarship Application Process

Applications for 2023 funding must be submitted to ASSA no later than 10 February 2023. One application should be submitted for consideration for both scholarships.

There is no standard application form, and only the following items must be submitted.

1. A cover letter, outlining your career plans and explaining your interest in astronomy.

2. Curriculum vitae.

3. A statement of your intended course of study (full details of subjects and modules, and their costs) for 2023.

4. A statement that you either have no other bursary or scholarship or where you do have a scholarship or bursary, the amount, source, and conditions.

5. A copy of your final official results from your previous year of study.

6. A recent letter of support from a lecturer.

7. An additional recent letter(s) of support, if relevant.

How to Apply

Full contact details, including e-mail, residential and postal addresses, and phone numbers.

Applications and queries should be submitted by e-mail to [email protected] no later than 10 February 2023.

Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.

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